Writings and essays about flamenco

Category — Flamenco Authority José María Velázquez-Gaztelu

“Rito y Geografía del Flamenco” — Notes on the 1996 first commercial release

The following describes the great flamenco documentary series “Rito y Geografía de Flamenco” when most of the films were released in a commercial videocassette version by Alga Editores in Spain in 1996. It was a poor version — the images were often fuzzy, and an accompanying hardcover book used many of those images with weak text. A quarter of the original 100 programs were not included. A later release on DVD’s was far superior, with exellent images and excellent booklets of additional commentary by the key man on the project, José María Velásquez and English subtitles — though that version, too, omitted a batch of programs, most relatively weak but some quite good. (Five years earlier, I had managed to rescue and purchase the first copies of these and other films from the series; I had hoped this first commercial version from Alga would add valuable documentation and sharper images, but no such luck.

Here’s that earlier description, headlined “A Collection of Incunables” — while it logically means “indispensables” or somesuch, I can’t find a fitting translation — maybe the word exists in English as well, but I’ve never heard it:

“A collection of ‘incunables’ in images that depict unforgettable scenes of flamenco song, showing the greatest artists of the past and the present. 26 videocassettes (VHS) with more than 38 hours of material and a sumptuous book of 272 pages containing more than 100 photographs of the people and places appearing in the series, with text by eminent present-day flamencologists, historians, anthropologists and musicians.

Enjoy the experience of these unrepeatable images of the great masters, many of them now gone, both professional and aficionados, who knew how to maintain the purest essences of flamenco cante: See Antonio Mairena, Caracol, Beni de Cadiz, Pericon de Cadiz, Pepe de la Matrona, Joselero de Moron, El Gallina (Rafael Romero), El Perrate, La Piriñaca, El Borrico, Pepe Marchena, Camarón, etc.

“Rito y Geografia del Cante” was created between March of 1971 and October of 1973. 100 programs were made and shown. The team visited 28 locales in Andalucia, Salamanca, Barcelona, Extremadura, Toledo, Murcia and Portugal. They filmed 186 singers, 13 folklore groups, 47 guitarists, 313 palmeros (supporting hand-clappers), dancers and aficionados. There are 117 interviews and get-togethers with flamencologists, musicians, historians, anthropologists and noted aficionados. We are pleased to present the fruit of this search and investigation.”

This was followed by two brief descriptive essays which I’m translating (from a crummy fax, so my general ignorance is occasionally compounded by illegibility):

1. “Criteria for this Edition of Rito y Geografia del Cante.”

“Today, 25 years after the initial broadcasts by Television Espanola of the ‘Rito y Geografia del Cante’ series, some things remain the same in the world of flamenco while others have changed. The best of the new developments is perhaps the wide promulgation of flamenco — a notion touched upon in the programs, and now confirmed to an astonishing degree. The worst, at least from the orthodox point of view, and from the standpoint of the splendid “oldness” (vejez) that distinguishes the series, may be certain present-day mixings and fusions (mestizajes) that don’t make much sense.

Since the films were made, we have seen the disappearance of Camarón, who in the series represented a new and unorthodox approach to the cante; and we’ve seen Enrique Morente — who is asked where he thinks the modernizing movement might take flamenco — do a recent recording of poems by Leonard Cohen while joined by a rock group, without abandoning flamenco. José Menese, another young renovationist of that earlier time, has remained faithful to the roots (“Firme me mantengo” — “I stand firm”, as one of his songs says), and it is through him that we know the political verses of his mentor José Moreno Galván, with their strong social content, which were so avidly listened to during Spain’s transition to democracy.

This documentary series, despite the subsequent appearance of new interpreters and the loss of a large part of those who are shown, or despite the evolution of some of these depicted artists to enter the realm of “new flamenco”, has not aged a bit. On the contrary, like fine wine, it has turned into something special, almost venerable — a relic, an “incunable” (priceless document? Unique object? The word “incunabula” refers to manuscripts created before the age of moveable type…)

Nonetheless, in the intervening time, some of the interpreters originally included, either because they were valued more highly than warranted or because they played a particular role in the original criteria for selection, have been eliminated, since their art would not say very much to a young aficionado today. Those eliminated are not mythical singers of the past, nor have they confirmed themselves as myths of today as did Morente, Camarón or Menese. Nor are they fundamental representatives of a particular geographic or family school of flamenco. Their inclusion would only have expanded this edition unneccessarily, and perhaps disoriented the new aficionado.

2. “A Collection of ‘Incunables’”

“Rito y Geografia del Cante”, broadcast by TVE between 1971 and 1973, is considered by all specialists, and is recognized in the histories of flamenco, as the finest program ever produced for television. In a run covering approximately two years, under the direction of Mario Gómez and with the collaboration and evaluative judgments of the most prestigious flamencologists, the weekly series travelled all of flamenco territory, including the very guts of Andalucia where, over the years, this art — local and universal at the same time — was developed.

The series offered testimony from old singers, many of them anonymous, others celebrated. It was a true blessing, because it was launched at a time when the great flamenco neighborhoods or breeding areas (Triana, Cadiz, Jerez and its Barrio de Santiago) were starting to lose their traditional and Gypsy ways of life due to the changes Spain had started to see in the 1960′s, and due to the influence of new communcations media, changing customs, etc. These documentaries, then, arrived in time to miraculously save the memory of a life already in large part irrevocably lost.

The filming, always guided by intelligent curiosity and by the commentary of José María Velásquez, or through the introduction of expert specialists, traversed all the last locales in which flamenco was being “made”: taverns, family homes, colmaos, and ventas. And it collected the final artistic testimonies of many singers who would be dead shortly afterward — in some cases, even before their particular programs were aired. That was the case with Juan Talega and Manolo Caracol, among others.

But today, 25 years after their broadcast, a large number of those protagonists are no longer with us. We can no longer capture the image of Tia Anica La Piriñaca, El Beni de Cadiz, Diego el del Gastor, Antonio Piñana (padre), Eleuterio — to name just some of those who are gone, but leave their myths behind, and whose images return to us now in these videos, as they sing or speak of their cante.

Thus it is possible today to see Antonio Mairena dancing por bulerias; or Tía Anica giving her advice to some youngsters (who were none other than Manuel Sordera and “that ‘Camirón’, or whatever he’s called…”); or to see Juan Talega in a fight to the death with the form called the toná, perhaps the last one he would sing in his lifetime; or Tomás Torre, speaking about his father Manuel; or Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera in a fiesta at home, or praying to the Virgin; or the Perrates, uncle and mother of Juan El Lebrijano.

And, also, a young and “parlanchin” (?) Camarón de la Isla; young José Menese in his home town of La Puebla de Cazalla or getting his professional start in Madrid; and a five-year-old La Macanita, singing and dancing for Paula; and Remedios Amaya, barely an adolescent at the time. And, too, monographic (single-topic) episodes dedicated to major thematic issues, such as the relation of Falla and Lorca to flamenco; or the festivales; or women in the realm of cante; or the guitar; or the role of the Gypsies within the art; etc.

With this series, you are presented with a true collection of “incunables” — a true history of images of the old and pure (rancia) mystery of flamenco. The films reveal a history that can never be repeated, and that today is lost forever.

Paco González
Editor

End of material on the series.

I think the general descriptions are pretty good, and while I’d argue about the omission of any material, I think the Alga folks made a defensible choice — some of the omitted programs were very weak, and seemed like filler.

(As for the alleged artist called Eleuterio — never heard of the guy, and would bet he never existed, at least by that name.)

Brook Zern

March 1, 2017   No Comments

Rito y Geografía del Flamenco – A list of 100 programs in order of broadcast – Oct. 23, 1971 to Oct. 29, 1973 – including some 20 never-available shows that may come to light

The nearly 100 programs from the now legendary series “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco” were broadcast on Television Española’s Second Channel (for the region of Andalusia) over two years beginning in October of 1971. (I saw at least one — the remarkable show on Agujetas — being broadcast in Madrid, possibly on the First or main channel.)

As of today, about eighty of them have been released in the three commercial versions of the series and can be seen on YouTube. (A compilation of those programs appears on this website in alphabetical order at: http://www.flamencoexperience.com/blog/?p=1621 — just click on the extracted photograph from any program and you enter another, vanished world.)

Note: Between 1972 and 1987, I was trying to assure the preservation of the programs in this series, and acquire a copy if possible. At one point I received the computerized list of titles and original broadcast dates you’ll see below. It includes about 20 programs that apparently were not included in any of the three commercial editions — including the latest and best commercial version of the series (on shiny DVD’s, each with four of the half-hour programs with enhanced picture and sound, bound into elegant hardcover booklets giving extensive information about the artists and song forms in each program.)

I have nearly all of those missing programs among the (unimproved) videotapes I was finally allowed to buy in 1987 (after paying the agreed-upon price plus the conversion costs from film to video). I hope to make them viewable on YouTube in the months to come. (Note — If any of those programs can currently be seen on YouTube. please let me know.)

Here’s the rundown, in alphabetical order with running times and the arbitrary number of the 1987 cassette as they were received:

ANTONIO DE CANILLAS – 27:20 – 87/19/C
CANTE FLAMENCO [CON INTERPRETES GITANOS] – 24:25 – 87/22/C
CANTE GITANO [CON INTERPRETES GITANOS] – 27:59 – 87/21/C
ENCARNACION LA SALLAGO – 25:20 – 87/17C
FANDANGO – 27:00 – 87/3/C
FESTIVAL DEL CANTE – 26;30 – 87/11/C
LA MARRURRA [MOREEN CARNES] – 28:41 – 87/23/C
JOSELERO DE MORON – 30:20 – 87/18/C
LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS – 28;00 – 87/16/C
LUIS CABALLERO – 34:40 – 87/13/C
PANSEQUITO – 29:35 – 87/23/C
PERICON DE CADIZ – 28:36 – 87/21/C
PERRATE DE UTRERA – 30:20 – 87/13/C
POR SIGUIRIYAS – 26:00 – 87/9/C
POR SOLEA – 24:00 – 87/9/C
CANTE FLAMENCO Note: This may not be missing – it may be the same as the above-mentioned CANTE FLAMENCO GITANO (with English subtitles) — The program evidently features Gypsy singers performing songs that are not seen as Gypsy songs, and may have been also been titled CANTE FLAMENCO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS.

Note: The 100th and final program was evidently titled “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco”, like the series itself. It could be one of the above programs, or a compilation of highlights from the series, possibly running longer than the usual programs, in which case I don’t have it.

NOTE: Program 41 — SABICAS (790814) [720814] (26:20) 14 AUG 79 [72] PP03847 — probably was not broadcast and may never have been completed.

Note: The program on guitarist Diego del Gastor was rebroadcast (with one change) to commemorate his death. Such rebroadcasting may have happened following the deaths of other artists during the two-year run, sometimes possibly indicated by weeks with no broadcast listed.

Here’s the original list. The Spanish heading says that original format of these programs in TVE’s archives [filmoteca] was 16 millimeter film (or laboratory negatives of 16 millimeter film), with a separate magnetic sound track (as opposed to optical sound, which I think is inferior).

RITO Y GEOGRAFIA [FROM RTVE COMPUTER RUN, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER]
16 MM BN SEPMAG, LAB NEG EN FILMOTECA TVE

1. LAS TONAS (711023) (30:50) 23 OCT 71 PP03857
2. ROMANCES, TANGOS Y TIENTOS (711030) (33:30) 30 OCT 71 PP03858
3. SEGUIRIYAS 1 PARTE (711106) (32:55) 6 NOV 71 PP03859
4. SEGUIRIYAS 2 PARTE (711113) (28:40) 13 NOV 71 PP03860
5. CADIZ Y LOS PUERTOS (711120) (32:40) 20 NOV 71 PP03861
6. SOLEARES 1 PARTE (711127) (31:55) 27 NOV 71 PPO3862
7. SOLEARES 2 PARTE (711204) (30:55) 4 DEC 71 PP03863
8. EL FANDANGO (711211) (26:15) 11 DEC 71 PP03864
9. DE RONDA A MALAGA (711218) (28:50) 18 DEC 71 PP03865
10. NAVIDAD FLAMENCA (711225) 25 DEC 71 PP03866
11. MALAGUENAS (720101) 1 JAN 72 PP03867
12. DE GRANADA A LA UNION (720108) 8 JAN 72 PP03868
13. CANTES PROCEDENTES DEL FOLKLORE (720122) (26:20) 15 JAN 72 PP03869
14. FIESTA GITANA (720129) (33:15) 29 JAN 72 PP03870
15. LAS TONAS [2] (720205) (31:15) 5 FEB 72 PPO3871
16. LA LLAVE DE ORO DEL CANTE (720212) 12 FEB 72 PP03872
17. TRIANA (720219) (29:25) 19 FEB 72 PP03873
18. EL BARRIO DE SANTIAGO (720226) (25:50) 26 FEB 72 PP03874
19. LA FAMILIA PININI (720304) (31:15) 4 MAR 72 PP03875
20. LA FAMILIA DE LOS PERRATE (720311) (22:45) 11 MAR 72 PP03876
21. LA CASA DE LOS MAIRENA (720312) (31:50) 18 MAR 72 PP03877
22. MANUEL TORRE Y ANTONIO CHACON (720325) (30:10) 25 MAR 72 PP03878
23. LA SAETA (720401) (27:10) 1 APR 72 PP03879
24. LA CA[N]TAORA (720410) (26:05) 10* APR 72 PP03880
25. LA GUITARRA (720317) (27:05) 17 MAR [APR] 72 PP03881
26. VIEJOS CANTAORES (720424) (24:20) 24 APR 72 PP03832*
27. CANTE FLAMENCO INTERPRETES GITANOS] (720501) (26:25) 1 MAY 72 PP03833
28. DEL CAFE CANTANTE AL TABLAO (720508) (25:50) 8 MAY 72 PP03834
29. CANTE GITANO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS (720515) (28:30) 15 MAY 72 PP03835
30. LA GUITARRA FLAMENCA (2-PARTE) (720522) (27:35) 22 MAY 72 PP03836
31. FESTIVAL DEL CANTE (720529) (28:00) 29 MAY 72 PP03837
32. EVOLUCION DEL CANTE (720605) (28:30) 5 JUN 72 PP03838
33. FANDANGO DE HUELVA (720612) (25:00) 12 JUN 72 PP03839
34. MALAGA Y LEVANTE (720619) (27:35) 19 JUN 72 PP03840
35. FALLA Y FLAMENCO (720626) (26:05) 26 JUN 72 PP03841
36. LA SERRANIA (720703) (29:15) 3 JUL 72 PP03842
37. FANDANGOS NATURALES (720710) 10 JUL 72 PP03843
38. POR SOLEA (26:00) (720717) 17 JUL 72 PP03844
39. POR SEGUIRIYAS (27:55) (720724) 24 JUL 22 PP03845
40. FIESTA GITANA – BULERIAS (720807) (29:05) 7* AUG 72 PP03846
41. SABICAS (790814) [720814] (26:20) 14 AUG 79 [72] PP03847
42. MARIA VARGAS (720821) (26:00) 21 AUG 72 PP03848
43. FIESTA GITANA – TANGOS (720831) (22:06) 31* AUG 72 PP03849
44. JUAN PENA EL LEBRIJANO (720911) (31:00) 11 SEP 72 PP03850
45. AGUJETAS (720918) (34:25) 18 SEP 72 PP03851
46. JOSE MENESES (720925) (31:30) 25 SEP 72 PP03852
47. LA PERLA DE CADIZ (721002) (33:05) 2 OCT 72 PP03853
48. FERNANDO TERREMOTO (721009) (32:45) 9 OCT 72 PP03854
49. LUIS CABALLERO (721016) (26:00) 16 OCT 72 PP03855
50. DIEGO DEL GASTOR (721023) (31:45) 25 OCT 72 PP03855
51. CRISTOBALINA SUAREZ (721106) (30:40) 6 NOV 72* PP03807*
52. FOSFORITO (721113) (26:30) 13 NOV 72 PP03808
53. MANOLO CARACOL (1-PARTE) (721120) 20 NOV 72 PP03809
54. MANOLO CARACOL (2-PARTE) (721127) 27 NOV 72 PP03810
55. CHOCOLATE (721204) (29:10) 4 DEC 72 PP03811
56. BENI DE CADIZ (721211) (26:00) 11 DEC 72 PP03812
57. OLIVER DE TRIANA (721218) (30:10) 18 DEC 72 PP03813
58. AMOS RODRIGUEZ (721225) (26:30) 25 DEC 72 PP03814
59. PERRATE DE UTRERA (730101) (30:40) 1 JAN 73 PP03815
60. PEDRO LAVADO (730108) (26:55) 8 JAN 73 PP03816
61. PLATERO DE ALCALA (730115) (28:20) 15 JAN 73 PP03817
62. EL BORRICO (730122) (32:30) 22 JAN 73 PP03818
63. MELCHOR DE MARCHENA (730129) (29:40) 29 JAN 73 PP03819
64. FERNANDA DE UTRERA (730205) (34:30) 5 FEB 73 PP03820
65. BERNARDA DE UTRERA (730212) (30:45) 12 FEB 73 PP03821
66. ANTONIO DE CANILLAS (730219) (28:20) 19 FEB 73 PP03822
67. ENRIQUE MORENTE (730305) (28:00) 5 MAR 73* PP03823
68. JOSELERO DE MORON (730312) (30:20) 12 MAR 73 PP03824
69. MANUEL SOTO SORDERA (730319) (25:00) 19 MAR 73 PP03825
70. RAFAEL ROMERO (730326) (29:30) 26 MAR 73 PP03826
71. DIEGO CLAVEL (730402) (28:20) 2 APR 73 PP03827
72. ENCARNACION DE SALLAGO (730409) 9 APR 73 PP03828
73. LA SAETA (730416) (29:35) 16 APR 73 PP03829
74. CAMARON DE LA ISLA (730423) 23 APR 73 PP03830
75. EL PALI (730430) (30:20) 30 APR 73 PP03831
76. MANUEL RODRIGUEZ – PIES DE PLOMO (730507) (30:35) 7 MAY 73 PP03782*
77. LA PAQUERA DE JEREZ (730514) (30:55) 14 MAY 73 PP03783
78. PACO DE LUCIA (730521) (32:15) 21 MAY 74 PP03784
79. PERICON DE CADIZ (730528) (28:55) 28 MAY 74 PP03785
80. TIA UNICA [ANICA] LA PIRINACA (730604) (31:15) 11 JUN 73 PP03786
81. PANSEQUITO (730611) (30:30) 11 JUN 73 PPO3787
82. PEPE EL DE LA MATRONA (730618) (31:45) 18 JUN 73 PP03788
83. LA PERRATA (730625) (29:45) 25 JUN 73 PP03789
84. ANTONIO MAIRENA (730702) (38:10) 2 JUL 73 PP03790
85. MARIA LA MARRORRA [MARRURRA] (730716) (30:45) 16 JUL 73* PP03791
86. PEPE MARTINEZ (730723) (32:55) 23 JUL 73 PP03792
87. PEPE MARCHENA (730730) (32:50) 30 JUL 73 PP03793
88. LOS TORRE (730806) (26:05) 6 AUG 73 PP03794
89. CANTOS [CANTES] PRIMITIVOS SIN GUITARRA (730813) (30:10) 13 AUG 73 PP03795
90. DE SANLUCAR A LA LINEA (730820) (25:00) 20 AUG 73 PP03796
91. CANTES FLAMENCOS IMPORTADOS (730827) (27:40) 27 AUG 73 PP03797
92. EXTREMADURA Y PORTUGAL (730903) (29:15) 3 SEP 73 PP03798
93. LOS CABALES (730910) (30:55) 10 SEP 73 PP03799
94. DE DESPENAPERROS HASTA ARRIBA (730917) (27:15) 17 SEP 73 PP03800
95. LORCA Y EL FLAMENCO (730924) (26:40) 24 SEP 73 PP03801
96. DIFUSION DEL FLAMENCO (731001) (30:35) 1 OCT 73 PP03802
97. EL VINO Y EL FLAMENCO (731008) (35:15) 8 OCT 73 PP03803
98. LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS (731015) (28:35) 15 OCT 73 PP03804
99. NINOS CANTAORES (731022) (28:30) 22 OCT 73 PP03805
100. RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL CANTE Y EL FLAMENCO (731029) 29 OCT 73 PP03806

End of list.

Note: At one point in 1975 I was allowed to purchase three of the programs on 16 millimeter film but with optical soundtrack. Then the door slammed — I was abruptly told that I couldn’t buy any more, and it had been an error to send me the first three. I was dismayed — and relieved, since they cost about five hundred bucks apiece, the equivalent of at least five grand today, and I couldn’t have bought many more regardless. But I had three programs, and at last I could show people what “real” flamenco looked and sounded like in its social context. The programs: The legendary singer Fernanda de Utrera, her sister, the wonderful Bernarda de Utrera, and the guitarist Diego del Gastor. And a curiosity: The film of Diego del Gastor shows him mostly playing solos, and accompanying just one artist — the terrific dancer/singer Miguel Funi who’s still alive and kicking. But when I finally managed to buy the first videocassette version of the programs, Diego was shown accompanying his beloved brother-in-law, Luís Torres “Joselero”. Why? I finally figured it out. The first version was shown before Diego’s death in the summer of 1973 — though it doesn’t appear on the list below. The second version was subsequently shown to commemorate the recent death of Diego, and someone evidently decided it would be more appropriate to redo the segment to include his true compañero, Joselero. A nice touch indeed. Diego was one of just four guitarists given their own episodes; two other episodes are devoted to the instrument and feature various guitarists.

And finally: Once again, I urge aficionados to seek the DVD version on the internet where many of the booklets can be found and purchased.

Brook Zern — brookzern@gmail.com

March 30, 2015   1 Comment

A revised version of the programs in the “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco” film series with images from the 86 currently viewable on YouTube

BELOW IS AN UPDATED COMPILATION OF 96 EPISODES OF THE “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO” SPANISH TELEVISION SERIES BROADCAST BETWEEN OCTOBER 1971 AND OCTOBER 1973. THE 86 VIEWABLE EPISODES ARE EACH IDENTIFIED BY A SCREEN SHOT FROM THE SHOW, AT THE TOP OF WHICH IS SEEN THE NAME OF THE PROGRAM (IT ALSO APPEARS IN TINY PRINT ABOVE THE SCREENSHOT). TEN OTHER SHOWS THAT AREN’T YET VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE ARE LISTED AFTER THE SCREENSHOTS. IT IS LIKELY THAT THREE MORE EXISTING EPISODES ARE NOT NAMED HERE.

IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT 100 OF THESE HALF-HOUR BLACK-AND-WHITE PROGRAMS WERE MADE, THOUGH AT LEAST ONE — ON THE GUITARIST SABICAS — DOESN’T EXIST AND MAY NEVER HAVE EXISTED.

THE FIRST GROUP INCLUDES 70 WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES. THE SECOND GROUP INCLUDES 16 IN A SPANISH-ONLY VERSION. EACH GROUP IS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.

TEN OTHER KNOWN PROGRAMS ARE NOT YET VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE. (THAT LIST APPEARS AFTER THE IMAGES, ALSO IN THAT TINY PRINT). THE LOCATION OF MOST ARE KNOWN AND EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO MAKE THEM AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE,

BEYOND THOSE 96 PROGRAMS, IT IS LIKELY THAT ONLY THREE MORE EXIST FOR A TOTAL OF 99 PROGRAMS. THE NAMES OF THOSE THREE PROGRAMS ARE BEING SOUGHT.

(NOTE: THE ALPHABETICAL ORDER USED HERE CAN MAKE IT MUCH EASIER TO DETERMINE WHICH PROGRAMS MAY BE MISSING FROM OTHER LISTINGS.)

“RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL CANTE FLAMENCO” (TO USE ITS FULL NAME) IS STILL THE GREATEST FLAMENCO DOCUMENTARY EVER MADE, AND IT WILL PROBABLY REMAIN SO. IT WAS COMPLETED JUST BEFORE FLAMENCO BEGAN TO UNDERGO A PERMANENT TRANSFORMATION, THANKS TO THE ENORMOUS INFLUENCE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES OF THE SINGER CAMARON DE LA ISLA AND THE GUITARIST PACO DE LUCIA (BOTH FEATURED IN THEIR OWN EPISODES).

THE ENTIRE SERIES WAS FILMED IN THE FIELD — IN BARS AND TAVERNS, IN ARTISTS’ HOMES, IN PRIVATE REUNIONS CALLED JUERGAS OR FIESTAS, AND YES, IN FIELDS. IT SHOWS THE ART AND THE ARTISTS WITHIN THEIR REAL-LIFE SOCIAL CONTEXT, SOME PERFORMERS AT THEIR DAY JOBS, SOME JUST TALKING WITH FRIENDS.

(THE FABULOUS SINGER LA PAQUERA, FOR EXAMPLE, ARRIVES IN HER NATIVE JEREZ IN A STUNNING WHITE FUR COAT; THE TEMPERATURE IS ABOUT A HUNDRED IN THE SHADE, BUT SHE THINKS IT SHOULD BE SEEN.)

THE PROGRAMS REVEAL A VANISHED SOCIETY, STILL IN THE DEPTHS OF A DYING DICTATORSHIP, STILL ALMOST MEDIEVAL IN ITS POVERTY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

THE GENIUS BEHIND THE FILM TEAM WAS JOSE MARIA VELAZQUEZ GAZTELU, WHO DOES MOST OF THE NARRATION AND ARTIST INTERVIEWS.

STARTING IN 1972, I SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS BEGGING AND BRIBING PEOPLE TO TRY TO ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THESE PROGRAMS. (FOR THE FIRST TEN YEARS, NOBODY ELSE SEEMED INTERESTED. FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I WAS TOLD THAT THE MATERIAL WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT NO ONE COULD EVER OBTAIN COPIES.)

IN 1987, I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO BUY THE FIRST SET OF COPIES AND PAY THE DAUNTING BILL FOR THE INITIAL RESTORATION. (I DECLINED THE OFFERED RIGHTS TO PROFIT FROM A COMMERCIAL EDITION, WHICH REVERTED TO THE RIGHTFUL CREATIVE PEOPLE.) IN THE MID-NINETIES, A POOR-QUALITY VIDEOCASSETTE EDITION OF MOST OF THE PROGRAMS WAS ISSUED BY ALGA EDITORES IN SPAIN. A BETTER EDITION FOLLOWED FROM SPANISH TELEVISION.

BUT IN 2005, SENOR VELAZQUEZ CREATED AND NARRATED A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED VERSION WITH THE CD’S CONTAINED IN INFORMATIVE SPANISH-LANGUAGE HARDCOVER BOOKLETS. IT INCLUDED THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE PROGRAMS, AND FEATURED ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SUBTITLES FOR MANY OF THE EPISODES. (THOSE VERSIONS ARE LISTED PREFERENTIALLY HERE; SPANISH-ONLY VERSIONS ARE LISTED ONLY WHEN THE ENGLISH VERSION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE. THE CD/BOOKLETS ARE BECOMING SCARCE IN SPAIN, AND MANY ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE.)

I URGE ALL AFICIONADOS TO TRY AND PURCHASE ANY AVAILABLE CD/BOOKLETS — THE PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE AND THE MATERIAL IS PRICELESS.

DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTENT OF MOST PROGRAMS WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE IN A SEPARATE BLOG ENTRY.

RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO – A LIST OF THE PROGRAMS CURRENTLY VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE (APRIL, 2015).

PART ONE: EPISODES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES – [70 PROGRAMS]

Agujetas – Rito – English Subtitles

Amós Rodrígues Rey – Rito – English Subtitles

Antonio Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles

Beni de Cadiz – Rito – English Subtitles

Bernarda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles

Cádiz y los Puertos – Rito – English Subtitles

Camarón – Rito – English Subtitles

Cante Flamenco [i.e. Cante No Gitano] con Interpretes Gitanos [?]– Rito – English Subtitles

Cante Gitano con Interpretes No Gitanos [?]- English Subtitles [?]

Cantes Flamencos Importados – Rito – English Subtitles

Cantes Primitivos Sin Guitarra – Rito – English Subtitles

Cantes Procedentes del Folklore – Rito – English Subtitles

Cristobalina Suarez – Rito – English Subtitles

De Despeñaperros para Arriba – Rito – English Subtitles

De Granada a La Union – Rito – English Subtitles

De Ronda a Malaga – Rito – English Subtitles

De Sanlúcar a La Linea – Rito – English Subtitles

Diego del Gastor – Rito – English Subtitles

El Barrio de Santiaago – Rito – English Subtitles

El Chocolate – Rito –English Subtitles

El Lebrijano – Rito – English Subtitles

El Pali (Sevillanas) – Rito – English Subtitles

El Vino y El Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles

Enrique Morente – Rito – English Subtitles

Evolución del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles

Extremadura y Portugal – Rito – English Subtitles

Fandangos – Rito – English Subtitles [?]

Fandangos de Huelva – Rito – English Subtitles

Fandangos Naturales – Rito – English Subtitles

Fernanda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana [Bulerias] – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana por Bulerias – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana por Tangos – Rito – English Subtitles

Fosforito – Rito – English Subtitles

José Menese – Rito – English Subtitles

La Cantaora – Rito – English Subtitles

La Casa de los Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia Pinini – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia de Los Perrate – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia de los Torres – Rito – English Subtitles

La Guitarra Flamenca (1) – Rito – English

La Llave de Oro del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles

La Paquera de Jerez – Rito – English Subtitles

La Perrata – Rito – English Subtitles

La Saeta – Rito – English Subtitles

La Serrania – Rito – English Subtitles

Las Tonas – Rito – English Subtitles

Lorca y el Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles

Málaga y Levante – Rito – English Subtitles

Malagueñas – Rito – English Subtitles

Manolo Caracol (I) – Rito –English Subtitles

Manolo Caracol (II) – Rito – English

Manuel Soto “Sordera” – Rito – English Subtitles

María Vargas – Rito – English Subtitles

Melchor de Marchena – Rito – English Subtitles

Navidad Flamenca – Rito – English Subtitles

Niños Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles

Oliver de Triana – Rito – English Subtitles

Paco de Lucía – Rito – English Subtitles

Pedro Lavado – Rito – English Subtitles|

Pepe de la Matrona – Rito – English Subtitles

Platero de Alcalá – Rito – English Subtitles

Romances, Tangos y Tientos – Rito – English Subtitles

Siguiriyas I – Rito – English Subtitles

Siguiriyas II – Rito – English Subtitles

Soleares 2 – Rito – English Subtitles

Terremoto – Rito – English Subtitles

Tía Anica la Piriñaca – Rito – English Subtitles

Triana – Rito – English Subtitles

Viejos Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles

PART TWO: EPISODES WITH NO ENGLISH VERSION ON YOUTUBE –
[SIXTEEN PROGRAMS]

Del café cantante al tablao – Rito – Spanish

Diego Clavel – Rito – Spanish

Difusión del Flamenco – Rito – Spanish

Falla y el Flamenco – Rito – Spanish

Joselero [de Morón] – Rito – Spanish
Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watcht=26&v=fXoaFc1mYJ4

[10:23]
Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pu YApYrLY&feature=youtu.be
[11:46]
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=_drflGafmwo&feature=youtu.be
[7:31]
Part 4: – not given on YouTube
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=RPxRJVauReM&feature=youtu.be
[19:49]
Note: Since the total time is nearly 50 minutes there must be some duplication between these segments.

Luís Caballero – Rito – Spanish [?]

La Guitarra Flamenca (2) – Rito – Spanish

Los Cabales [Aficionados] – Rito – Spanish

Manuel Torre y Antonio Chacón – Rito – Spanish

Pansequito -Rito – Spanish [?]

Pepe Marchena – Rito – Spanish

Perrate de Utrera – Rito – Spanish

Note: after 38:13 this version cuts to material from the show on Juan el Lebrijano or La Familia Perrate

Pepe Martínez – Rito – Spanish

Rafael Romero – Rito – Spanish

Soleares 1 – Rito – Spanish

Tío Borrico de Jerez – Rito – Spanish
(to 31’ 42” – after the original program ends, this version adds material by Tío Borrico from other programs in the same series)

TEN MISSING PROGRAMS:

ANTONIO DE CANILLAS – 27:20 – 87/19/C

CANTE FLAMENCO [CON INTERPRETES GITANOS] – 24:25 – 87/22/C

ENCARNACION LA SALLAGO – 25:20 – 87/17C

FESTIVAL DEL CANTE – 26;30 – 87/11/C

LA MARRURRA [MOREEN CARNES] – 28:41 – 87/23/C

JOSELERO DE MORON – 30:20 – 87/18/C [complete program]

LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS – 28;00 – 87/16/C

PERICON DE CADIZ – 28:36 – 87/21/C

POR SIGUIRIYAS – 26:00 – 87/9/C

POR SOLEA – 24:00 – 87/9/C

CANTE FLAMENCO Note: This may not be missing – it may be the same as the above-mentioned CANTE FLAMENCO GITANO (with English subtitles) — The program evidently features Gypsy singers performing songs that are not seen as Gypsy songs, and may have been also been titled CANTE FLAMENCO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS.

NOTE: THE 100TH AND FINAL PROGRAM WAS PROBABLY TITLED “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO.” IT MAY BE ONE OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS. [A RUMORED PROGRAM ON SABICAS WAS PROBABLY NEVER MADE.]

SUMMING UP: THERE ARE SEVENTY PROGRAMS ON YOUTUBE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES AND SIXTEEN PROGRAMS ON YOUTUBE IN SPANISH ONLY.
IN ADDITION, THERE ARE TEN PROGRAMS KNOWN TO BE ABSENT BUT PROBABLY AVAILABLE. THE TOTAL IS THUS 96 PROGRAMS, OUT OF THE 99 THAT WERE PROBABLY COMPLETED AND BROADWAY. THE THREE MISSING SHOWS NOT IN ANY OF THOSE CATEGORIES ARE BEING SOUGHT.

BROOK ZERN – APRIL 2015

March 28, 2015   No Comments

Yet Another Major Collection of Flamenco – Nearly All From Don Pohren’s Finca Espartero

Frontstory: If the 46 hours of great homespun sixties flamenco mentioned yesterday in this blog (at http://soundcloud.com/quinfolk/sets/the-flamenco-tapes-recorded-by-david-k-loughran-1964-1965) isn’t enough for you, here’s a website with another 46 hours worth:

www.flamencogitano.com

No kidding. The casts of the two collections are very similar. The Loughran material may partly predate this batch from the Finca Espartero, Don Pohren’s flamenco dude ranch where anyone could get immersed in heavy-duty music without spending years learning the ropes and paying dues. This Finca material seems to pick up where the ’64-’65 Loughran material leaves off, starting in 1966 and evidently continuing to beyond 1973. Guitarists on each collection include Diego del Gastor and and some of his gifted nephews; shared singers may include the Utrera sisters plus Perrate de Utrera, Joselero, Juan Talega, Curro Mairena, Ansonini, Manolito de la María…

Backstory: A few years ago, I found this flamencogitano.com website and later met and thanked the aficionado who made it. But I’d had the material for several years before that.

When this stuff was recorded I was often in Morón, sometimes living at town’s no-star hotel and sometimes staying at the Finca. I had tried to record some of those sessions with my new-fangled portable Norelco cassette recorder, a high-tech but lo-fi wonder of the era. Fortunately, a dedicated expert with a good open-reel machine did that invaluable work properly. About four decades later, I learned that someone else had obtained those recordings and was selling them as CD’s. I was thrilled to buy the 51 CD’s for five hundred bucks — hey, a bargain at twice the price, though not an ideal situation.

(In 1972 I wrote about the Finca for the New York Times, trying to capture the aura of the era — it’s here at http://www.flamencoexperience.com/blog/?p=463 )

I know there are serious issues surrounding the ownership and distribution of other people’s music in general, and privately-made flamenco recordings in particular. There are too many stories involving distrust, suspicion and anger. But a half-century is a long time to try and suppress great music; a lot of people who would have loved to hear this stuff have died over that period.

It never rains but it pours. Now anyone can listen to this extraordinary music for four days and nights, or even longer if one has to sleep. (And you might have to sleep — it’s an understatement to say that this music is repetitive. While Paco de Lucía often took many years to create enough guitar material for a new LP or work out a new record with Camarón, these recordings involve the same folks doing the same traditional stuff on good nights and bad nights and occasional great nights. Predictably, the sound quality varies from barely mediocre to surprisingly good.)

Note to the visually inclined: As a complement to this audio material from that amazing epoch, go to YouTube and see the scads of half-hour films in the great Rito y Geografía del Flamenco TV series of the early seventies. (I bought the first 16-millimeter film copies of a few programs in 1973, at five hundred bucks a pop, before the network vetoed further transactions. After fifteen years of begging and scheming I was allowed to pay a lot for the transfer of all the programs from film to videotape. I gave the first set to Columbia University, grabbed the second set for myself, and declined the commercial rights. My stash includes some programs that were never marketed in any of the three Spanish editions: not the poorly done Alga Editores cassette version, not the better TVE cassette version, not even the marvelous CD edition in beautiful hardcover booklets with English subtitles, enhanced video and sound and terrific commentary from the guiding light of the project, José María Velázquez-Gaztelu. I suppose my unseen programs should be put up on YouTube if it doesn’t antagonize any human beings or lawyers…)

Brook Zern

March 25, 2015   1 Comment

The Greatest Flamenco Film Series Now at Your Fingertips – YouTube URL’s for “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco”

NOTE BY BROOK ZERN

BELOW IS A COMPILATION OF EPISODES OF THE “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO” SERIES, WITH LIVE URL LINKS TO THEIR CURRENT YOUTUBE SITES.

“RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL CANTE FLAMENCO” (TO USE ITS FULL NAME) IS STILL THE GREATEST FLAMENCO DOCUMENTARY EVER MADE, AND IT MAY REMAIN SO FOREVER.  IT CONSISTS OF 100 HALF-HOUR BLACK-AND- WHITE PROGRAMS MADE FOR SPANISH NATIONAL TELEVISION BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 — JUST BEFORE FLAMENCO WAS TRANSFORMED FOREVER BY THE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES OF CAMARON AND PACO DE LUCIA (BOTH FEATURED IN THEIR OWN AMAZING EPISODES).

THE ENTIRE SERIES WAS FILMED IN THE FIELD — IN BARS AND TAVERNS, IN ARTISTS’ HOMES, IN PRIVATE REUNIONS CALLED JUERGAS OR FIESTAS, AND YES, IN FIELDS.  IT SHOWS THE ART AND THE ARTISTS WITHIN THEIR REAL-LIFE SOCIAL CONTEXT, SOME PERFORMERS AT THEIR DAY JOBS, SOME JUST TALKING WITH FRIENDS.

(THE FABULOUS SINGER LA PAQUERA, FOR EXAMPLE, ARRIVES IN HER NATIVE JEREZ IN A STUNNING WHITE FUR COAT; THE TEMPERATURE IS ABOUT A HUNDRED IN THE SHADE, BUT SHE THINKS IT SHOULD BE SEEN.)

THE PROGRAMS REVEAL A VANISHED SOCIETY, STILL IN THE DEPTHS OF A DYING DICTATORSHIP, STILL ALMOST MEDIEVAL IN ITS POVERTY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

THE GENIUS BEHIND THE FILM TEAM WAS JOSE MARIA VELAZQUEZ GAZTELU, WHO DOES MOST OF THE NARRATION AND ARTIST INTERVIEWS.

STARTING IN 1972, I SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS BEGGING AND BRIBING PEOPLE TO TRY TO ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THESE PROGRAMS.  (FOR THE FIRST TEN YEARS, NOBODY ELSE SEEMED INTERESTED.  FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I WAS TOLD THAT THE MATERIAL WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT NO ONE COULD EVER OBTAIN COPIES.)

IN 1987, I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO BUY THE FIRST SET OF COPIES AND PAY THE DAUNTING BILL FOR THE INITIAL RESTORATION.  (I DECLINED THE OFFERED RIGHTS TO PROFIT FROM A COMMERCIAL EDITION, WHICH REVERTED TO THE RIGHTFUL CREATIVE PEOPLE.)   IN THE MID-NINETIES, A POOR-QUALITY VIDEOCASSETTE EDITION OF MOST OF THE PROGRAMS WAS ISSUED BY ALGA EDITORES IN SPAIN.

BUT IN 2005, SENOR VELAZQUEZ  CREATED A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED VERSION WITH THE CD’S CONTAINED IN INFORMATIVE SPANISH-LANGUAGE HARDCOVER BOOKLETS.  IT INCLUDED THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE PROGRAMS, AND FEATURED ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SUBTITLES FOR MANY OF THE EPISODES.  (THOSE VERSIONS ARE LISTED PREFERENTIALLY HERE; SPANISH-ONLY VERSIONS ARE LISTED ONLY WHEN THE ENGLISH VERSION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE.  THE CD/BOOKLETS ARE BECOMING SCARCE IN SPAIN, AND MANY ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE.)

I URGE ALL AFICIONADOS TO TRY AND PURCHASE ANY AVAILABLE  CD/BOOKLETS — THE PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE AND THE MATERIAL IS PRICELESS.

OTHER PROGRAMS WILL BE ADDED WHEN THEY APPEAR.  (I DIDN’T PUT ANY OF THEM UP AT YOUTUBE.)

DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTENT OF MOST PROGRAMS WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE IN A SEPARATE BLOG ENTRY.

RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO – A LIST OF THE PROGRAMS CURRENTLY VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE (MAY, 2014).

PART ONE:  EPISODES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Agujetas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx8IenwJABE

Amós Rodrígues Rey – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atJZPP6mfww

Antonio Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyR-SO50QuA

Beni de Cadiz – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvKbaysrOg

Bernarda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poZ15CtQJTM

Cádiz y los Puertos – Rito – English Subtitles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzF6Ljdbri0

Camarón – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs82YSmKtOY

Cante Flamenco Gitano – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTKvcON1FvI

Cantes Flamencos Importados – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7WPi4RQS7Q

Cantes Primitivos Sin Guitarra – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVt_-XntIIQ

Cantes Procedentes del Folklore – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EAYlERhTUg

Cristobalina Suarez – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_I1YLle4vM

De Despeñaperros para Arriba – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWPZ-cCTFSM

De Granada a La Union – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4YcxfvcPIU

De Ronda a Malaga – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_owVZbW08AE

De Sanlúcar a La Linea – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gK-wz72Z_c

Diego del Gastor – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rBWG9nr95E&feature=share

El Barrio de Santiaago – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvYNo7w7fIw

El Chocolate – Rito –English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQohL_R1OY0

El Lebrijano – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4jDh23eEE

El Pali (Sevillanas) – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOp5vKT34SU

El Vino y El Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNzwqLfOdVo

Enrique Morente – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pFz6Cal5nc

Evolución del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5IQbkWMmko

Extremadura y Portugal – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5PRlqPtGaY

Fandangos de Huelva – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5nGoXjMd8Y

Fandangos Naturales – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdjKXnL85Ko

Fernanda de Utrera  – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU1auTmfw_c

Fiesta Gitana [Bulerias] – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNe4viBIL4o

Fiesta Gitana por Bulerias – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcfl3AguJVE

Fiesta Gitana por Tangos – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msQGVhuEhCA

Fosforito – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R80XWvkt3IM

José Menese – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck-QTRVoM4w

La Cantaora – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HsO3xDJCIM

La Casa de los Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGykopQfD2Y

La Familia Pinini  – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VNdQGgLUMM

La Familia de Los Perrate – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dvq9mdt5z4

La Familia de los Torres – Rito – English Subtitles

La Guitarra Flamenca (1) – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfqYPDFW30U

La Llave de Oro del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmvRUIqPFHY

La Paquera de Jerez – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr5_7cNWdIU

La Perrata – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTv6NM8ipes

La Saeta – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6uGzO_sPk8

La Serrania – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkhfQ1L-IwQ

Las Tonas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=870qmeQ_BLQ

Lorca y el Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQohL_R1OY0

Málaga y Levante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhepsLiqEQI

Malagueñas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxwvxdL-Ww

Manolo Caracol (I) – Rito –English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8LF4Vo2f40

Manolo Caracol (II) – Rito – English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6TyPLiqJyk

Manuel Soto “Sordera” – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfAJOHXkLq

María Vargas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWeNTQPMrOc

Melchor de Marchena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAm9XgDBRO0

Navidad Flamenca – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mogUID68cM0

Niños Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXQzCkezezc

Oliver de Triana – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPqk7URFCwA

Paco de Lucía – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHZsOfdi2M

Pedro Lavado – Rito – English Subtitles|
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8gvZ9XqQfk

Pepe de la Matrona – Rito – English Subtitles

Platero de Alcalá – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLnFPHSnXi0

Romances, Tangos y Tientos – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDl8DOU3U_E

Siguiriyas I – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRhISplyAXA

Siguiriyas II – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njckBzmcIu4

Terremoto – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMZiHKTHns8

Tía Anica la Piriñaca – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyLsxXaP-dI

Triana – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDNSPrYXsc4

Viejos Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StzrmFyZuA4

 

PART TWO:  EPISODES WITH NO ENGLISH VERSION  ON YOUTUBE

Diego Clavel – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-TiSs3KQPo

Difusión del Flamenco – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeimfX8YINI

Falla y el Flamenco – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPNZyaEu1Sg

La Guitarra Flamenca (2) – Rito – Spanish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZaxIJPeOCs

Los Cabales [Aficionados] – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPB6g0P6Uw

Manuel Torre y Antonio Chacón – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUPmHjtq5SE

Pepe Marchena – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ITnotw2RJo

Pepe Martínez – Rito – Spanish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCANwYdDU74

Rafael Romero – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meX7eA4-FBE

Soleares 1 – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAA47QPYPzM

Tío Borrico de Jerez – Rito – Spanish
(to 31’ 42” – after the original program ends, this version adds material by Tío Borrico from other programs in the same series)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkn_0FgZrlc&list=PL59460051DA1E9F70

 

MISSING PROGRAMS:

SOLEA 2

POR SOLEA

POR SIGUIRIYAS

LA MARRURRA  (MOREEN CARNES)

FESTIVAL DEL CANTE

LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS

ENCARNACION LA SALLAGO

ANTONIO DE CANILLAS

PERICON DE CADIZ

CANTE FLAMENCO
This may be the same as the above-mentioned CANTE FLAMENCO GITANO (with English subtitles) — The program evidently features Gypsy singers performing songs that are not seen as Gypsy songs, and may have been titled CANTE FLAMENCO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS.

NOTE:  THE 100TH AND FINAL PROGRAM WAS PROBABLY TITLED “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO.”  IT MAY BE ONE OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS.  [A RUMORED PROGRAM ON SABICAS WAS PROBABLY NEVER MADE.]

May 10, 2014   7 Comments

1974 Magazine Article on Diego del Gastor – Translated with comments by Brook Zern

by Brook Zern

Pueblo y cante: Diego del Gastor

Translator’s note:  This article is from the magazine Triunfo of September, 1974, commemorating the first anniversary of the death of the flamenco guitarist Diego del Gastor.  It is complicated and was sometimes hard to decode, and will be difficult to understand, but it offers some insights and information of general flamenco interest as well as intense focus on the man who fascinated so many of us so long ago.

(Case in point: I’ve spent all this January 2014 day trying to capture the “aire” of a few of his guitar falsetas that I’ve known since 1961.  With some other guitarists, it’s enough to play the right notes at the right moments with a modicum of expressivity.  Not with this stuff.  I don’t expect to succeed, but I hope to die trying.)

The article:

Popular art – people’s art — can only be created, developed and directed by the pueblo – the people.  A peoples’ art, directed by the pueblo, has to begin with a basis of popular feelings, signs and keys.  Diego knew this, because that was exactly what he did.

He was the flamenco guitar’s equivalent of the flamenco singer called “El Bizco Amaya”.  If El Bizco sang in taverns at evening red wine time [la hora del tinto], Diego would play at dawn for the olive pickers.  A popular art doesn’t make gratuitous or arbitrary concessions.  It’s not whether the beans are soft but what seasonings are added to the pot.  Not whether the mix is easily digested, or whether it puts you to sleep or keeps you up all night.  And Diego was an integral part of it – a tireless creator, a musical activist making art for everyone.

Only in its own milieu can a people’s art develop freely.  Only within the pueblo can the pueblo create its art.  The rest is insomnia or sleep.

On July 13, 1973, Diego Amaya Flores, in Morón de la Frontera, remained a great unknown [un gran olvidado].  An unknown guitar player.  A cadaver who was part of a living music

Diego del Gastor was born on March 15th, 1908, in Arriate, a town in the province of Malaga. But at an early age he moved to the El Gastor, a little town situated between Ronda, Jerez and Seville.    The son of Juan and Bárbara, he was the sixth of ten children: Pepe, Dolores, Agustín, Carmen, Antonio “el mellizo”, Diego, Amparo, Teresa, Paco and Salvador.  His baptism, celebrated at 120 Sevilla Street in Ronda, lasted for five days; he was godfathered (apadrinado) by some Gypsies (as he himself was) who gave him the nickname “Pitito”.

Because his father was a horse trader [tratante de bestias], from a young age he went between Ronda, Jerez and Morón, helping him do the accounts, but always with a clear conscience of the difference between that and his guitar.  He never mixed music and money.

“…in those years, twenty or twenty five years ago, seventy or eighty thousand duros [400,000 pesetas - a lot of money], a big herd of work horses, and five or six houses.” (According to Andrés Cabrera, an intimate friend of Diego.)

His infancy was spent between Arroyo and Molino streets.  Between the stairways of the church and the haylofts.  Between popular songs and flamenco bulerías.  Diego’s first musical creations were based on pasodobles, as well as flamenco sung by his friend Manuel Roldán – always quietly, con verguenza – in the Café de Miguelito.

Those were the years of la Andonda and El Fillo.  The yeaars of Tenaza and the Gallardos, Paquirri and Ramón el Ollero, of Silverio Franconetti and Tomás el Nitri.  Years of strong aguardiente.

Manuel Torre, Aurelio Selles, El Cojo de Malaga, El Macaca, El Herrrero, La Sarneta, Carito…Voices of strong aguardiente.

In the haylofts [el pajar] were born the pasodobles [Spanish popular songs] of Mari Cruz and Rocío, set to the bulerías rhythm.  The first flamenco tangos and the first important decisions.  The creative genius who would become the most legendary living player was beginning to create himself [desarrollarse].

“Diego, when he was ten years old, sat on the doorstep of his house and spent hours and  hours with a stick, as if it were a guitar, and with his lips he imitated that sound…” (Carmen,  great granddaughter of José María “El Tempranillo”, Diego’s friend since their infancy.)

His father was a keen aficionado of flamenco; people of his age who worked with him remember some of his songs with nostalgia, above all an old popular ballad called “Ballad of the ten dogs”, and a special way of singing soleares.  Soleares that today, according to Diego, are only known by [his brother-in-law] Luís Torres “Joselero”.

While his first sporadic visits to Morón were to  see his sister Dolores, in 1928 he moved there for good.  Morón was the home of the singer Diego Bermúdez “Tenazas”.  And the home of La Andonda, who was married to a mule driver [arriero] called El Oleganillo, whom she would leave to go with El Fillo.  Might the so-called Soleares de Triana actually have their origin in Morón?  Of course there are those who defend that view, among them Paco Ayala, an eminent flamenco song expert.

Morón is a southern town.  A town of immigrants and a coarse [bravío] town, agricultural but with some industry and, with few exceptions, artisanal.  A town of sharp contrasts, the light and the whitewashed buildings are simply the reflections of past tragedies.  About seventy kilometers from Seville, and in that province, it has been a focal point of attraction for foreigners and others, who go there to hear Diego’s guitar.  To have Diego teach them.  Once in Morón, it was the town that kept them, just as it was Morón that had once led its inhabitants to join the ranks of emigrants.  For years, Morón was being stripped, losing almost half of its people.  The towns of Andalucia know well the roads that lead to Barcelona.  The trains that go to Germany and Switzerland.  Morón is no exception, it’s another drop in the bucket.  It was the town seen through a train window.  That glance and the smile that Diego’s guitar knew how to translate.  The same voices that were being caught on tape recorders from Frankfurt or Stuttgart, the same tremor, the same noises heard on those big transistor radios  that the emigrants returned with.  They were part of the sound of the guitar; Diego was a part of Morón, and its humble people were his most fervent admirers.

Silverio Franconetti lived in Morón – the  non-Gypsy [payo] who after his return from Argentina was one of the most important figures in the diffusion of flamenco.  In Morón, and only in Morón, was the sole hope that Diego’s art would not be lost.

If the guitarist’s thumb is the hammer at the forge, or the equivalent of the “ayy” of El Loco Mateo, in Diego’s art the thumb marked the silences, those silences that the guitarist Perico del Lunar also used, silences charged with sound, that made the mouth taste of blood, as the beautiful old singer called “La Piriñaca” once said.

The influences on Diego’s playing [toque] were his brother Pepe, Pepe Mesa, and Pepe Naranjo.  Niño Ricardo, always important, wasn’t an iron strap that would impede the development of his imagination and creativity.  Poetry, the reflection of popular intuition, that at some level reaches the realm of knowledge.  With his enormous capacity for borrowing [captación], the guitar held no secrets.  He had arrived at such a fusion with its sounds that the two were mutually inciting one another.

“The guitar tells me to play it here or to strum it in another place.  All I do is what it tells me to.”

At the end of his public performances, which Diego was afraid of, and after the applause, he didn’t nod his head as a sign of thanks; he just showed his guitar, and with a special glance he seemed to remind us  that it was the guitar that told him how to do it.  In those festivals, Diego was different from the man in the intimate “reuniones” with friends.  In those, he was all courage and total delivery of himself as an artist, while in public one saw fear and respect.  He didn’t like applause and noise; he belonged to silence, and in the end, the noise was more than he could take.  The silence with which he wanted to surround himself was broken by merchants and sellers of music.  Tape recordings of his art crossed frontiers and were sold at exorbitant prices.  While Americans could hear his music, in many parts of Spain he remained completely unknown.  The more contracts he rejected, the more arrived.  The more he hid, the more he was sought.  The years of red wine and whiskey were trampling the strong aguardiente.  Diego knew that an arena hemmed him in.  For all those reasons, he never wanted to leave Morón.  Morón was the fortress of his fear.  Morón was his freedom and his domain.  Morón was silence.  To leave Morón was to enter the world of supply and demand.  To abandon the value of everyday usage [valores del uso] of  his guitar and convert it into coins or traveller’s checks.  Diego knew that the flower came from the root, though it might seem to come from the branch.

There were times – so old voices tell us – when the song, upon abandoning its minoritoy origin, lost none of its force or purity.  The song and the pueblo were one and the same.

The song was a weapon [arma]/ the pueblo was a flower/ a flower charged/ with gunpowder [pólvora] and love.

(“Canción de la serranía”)

Pueblo and song continue to be the same thing.  What the pueblo creates does not kill the pueblo.  But what is the same can be separated, and then there emerge the Perets: the Raphaels [a noted singer] of the landholders and the Lolas [Lola Flores] of the oligarchs.  In any political system, popular art exists.  But it’s not in every political system that the art of the pueblo can be developed, can be sung in chorus and made their own by the masses at the light of day.  Diego liked the idea of an art of the masses, but he knew that his art could never be that, since being that it could never be developed without some minimal and indispensable premises.  Diego, like any professional artist, needed a specific climate.  Since that climate didn’t exist – nor does it exist – he had to close the windows, brick up the walls, turn on the lights and return to the dark caves of the origin.  To return to the belly, in the hope – or in the task – of giving birth.

“One night we were with Anzonini and Rosa “la Americana”, and two cars came from Algodonales with a noisy group of either or nine people; when he saw that they were coming to greet us, he was unnerved, because he thought they would want to take him off to play for a fiesta…he moved to another table.  We were talking of old times, since it had been twenty years since we’d seen one another, but I looked for his guitar and couldn’t see it.  That was the big night!  Diego really wanted to play, but because he knew those people and knew they were rich, he thought “Uh oh, they’ve come for me”.  When he saw they weren’t leaving, he asked me if there was another place we could go because it was too noisy here.  When we got there, he closed the door with the bolt and, looking at them, said, “Ea! So much greeting and saludos – enough with all that “Great to see you!”  Then he asked for a guitar, and when he had it in his hands, he only wanted to caress it, and he embraced it for a while.  Then he asked me if my father had died.”

On the 13th of July of 1973, Diego Amaya Flores died of a coronary infarction.  His mother, “Barbarita”, had died a few months before.  Diego died in silence, not saying a word.  Now, a year after his death, there is a bust of him with his name on it.  A posthumous homage, a festival honoring his playing.

His music today remains a great unknown.  His music continues in silence.  The television program [Rito y Geografía del Cante], so fortuitously made by José María Velázquez and Pedro Turbica for Televisión Española, uses his playing as its introductory signature.  But despite that, Diego is one of many Spaniards lost in a cultural shipwreck and in an ocean of silences.  The only valid homage is his own music.  One must return to the belly to construct the birth.

End of article by Julio Vélez.

I’ve mentioned in this blog my basic discomfort with public socializing in Spain, where the mere act of entering a bar sets off a torrent of hugging and kissing.  (I don’t hang around in bars in the U.S., but in Spain bars are the unavoidable center of social life because nobody invites strangers — meaning all non-relatives — into their homes.)

I may be an egotist, but I’m not an extrovert, to say the least.  I guess I’m sort of shy.  (All together now: “Aww..”)

And since I don’t drink really drink — they nicknamed me “El Coca-cola” amid general merriment — well, it could be awkward when everyone else went off carousing with Diego in a general haze.

But there was an upside, because Diego — minus the alcohol, as was often the case — was “timid” “quiet” “shy”, to use descriptive terms from elsewhere in this blog.

I think he noticed that a lot of extranjeros were just acting, or overacting.  They’d get to Morón and, as if changing costumes in a phone booth, would suddenly become uniformly boisterous, gregarious, loud — to me, it looked like a pantomime, a show themed “who can be the socialest?”  Maybe those visitors were like that in Oslo or Ohio or San Francisco, but I had my doubts.

Well, I was the guy who didn’t mind getting voted off the island.  And from the moment he saw me not hugging anyone, Diego del Gastor noticed that I had this grave asocial flaw, because he had the same one.

As the above article spells out so clearly, he not only avoided fame: he was uncomfortable among all non-intimates — never mind the obnoxious “señoritos” or ill-mannered, rich junior would-be gentlemen like those mentioned above, that he avoided because they wanted to give him money that he didn’t want.

So we had an arms-length, handshaky, blissfully hug-free relationship.  He knew I knew a lot about science for a non-scientist, and he would ask me how things worked — the solar system, lightning, volcanoes, satellites, whatever.  I would ask him where certain guitar falsetas came from — was that Paco Lucena or Pepe Naranjo — hey, it reminds me of this one from Pepe Tranca; and he’d ask me to show that one to him — and why not, since it’s lesson time on the clock when he doesn’t have to show me anything.  And the next day, he’d show me his version of it, markedly improved.

A few of the finest falsetas were composed — if that’s the word for arranging, say, twenty notes that in ten beats, plus the obligatory two-beat close, sum up the entire immense concept that is the soleares — by his brother called “El Mellizo”, who was evidently named Antonio.

(Unlike most students there, I already knew lots of stuff from lots of other excellent styles — that may be why it’s always been hard for me to “acoplar” or hook up with the singular Morón “soniquete”.)

Diego was an old man — though always at least a decade younger than I am now — and I revered him, so I didn’t want to be his buddy, and he already had friends his age who spoke his language properly and had shared histories.

(Paco de Lucía, the magnificent colossus who will ultimately determine truth or falsity in all flamenco guitar matters, thinks we were all taken in by slick marketing for a flawed and overrated artist, orchestrated by a PR con man named Don Pohren.  Lucky us.)

I didn’t go to Morón to find a family, as many others seemed to.  I was married when I first got there in 1963, and had two daughters ten years later when he left.  And my family was small — I didn’t know from nieces and son-in-laws, while other foreigners could diagram the family trees of La Chica’s uncles’ cousins.  (Everyone is evidently everyone else’s cousin there.)

I sometimes listen to crumbling cassettes of lessons, and we talk politics and whatnot.  When I’m asking for too much music at once — I’ve been working on the style for many years — Diego slips me a mickey — he gives me a seemingly simple falseta that I somehow just can’t get wired (as he expected, knowing my weaknesses all too well.)

Diego loved some of the people who studied with him — the brilliant artist David Serva clearly deserved that distinction.  As for me, according to the gossip grapevine, he occasionally said I was “listo”.

It ain’t warm and fuzzy, I thought, but I’ll take it.

* (Guitarists, try this:  Thumb doublets, accenting underlined notes:  F on 4th (string), D on 4, E on 4, C on 5, G on 3, B on 5, D on 4, C on 5, B on 5, A on 5, E on 4, E on 6, F on 6, F on 4, E on 4, F (hammered on) on 4, G# on 3, B on 2; E on 6, E on 1, E on 4, G# on 3, B on 2, E on 1.  Okay, now try to make it sound like music.)

Brook Zern

Note:  The URL of the original magazine story is: http://morondelafrhistoriaflamencodeportes.blogspot.com/search/label/Diego%20del%20Gastor

February 3, 2014   4 Comments

Flamenco Singer José Menese Interprets Classic Poems – Article by Manuel Ríos Ruíz – Translated by Brook Zern

by Brook Zern

Manuel Rios Ruiz (one of my favorite flamenco experts) wrote of the art for a leading Spanish paper, ABC.  Here’s a 2001 article — a sort of new/old twist on flamenco.

Jose Menese and Ginesa Ortega Will Interpret the Classics in the Teatro Real

Madrid – Jose Menese and Ginesa Ortega will sing the poems of Gongora, Lope, Calderon, San Juan de la Cruz, Quevedo and Cervantes on the 8th in the Teatro Real.  For Jose Maria Velasquez, the musical and literary adapter [and the key man in creating the great documentary series "Rito y Geografia del Flamenco"], “classical poetry is blended with classical flamenco in a set of correlations whereby I’ve tried to let each element retain their original structure.”

Flamenco artists today are drawing inspiration from the most revered authors, and the legends of the past.  As examples of this much-discussed tendency, there are the Lorca versions and the avatars of “Dona Juana la Loca”.  Now we will see “De Mis Soledades Vengo (Classics and Flamenco)”.

For this production, the poet José María Velásquez has compiled a selection of poems and songs from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.  “To do this properly, I have respected above all the integrity of the selected verses, which I consider sacred and untouchable.  I have adapted them to some flamenco values, according to the particular character of each verse, remembering that these are not the same things as the deep natural verses  of the martinetes or the soleares,” he explains.  He says that the adaptation involved an exercise in forms, compases [rhythms], accents and metric resolutions, seeking points of conjunction between  the poetry of that era and flamenco as it is today.  The key is to let both elements retain their original structure, so that we add a new dimension of music to the the language of poetry.”

The artistic director Luis Torres Rubio worked with Jose Menese, a maestro of cante flamenco, and with Ginesa Ortega, a singer with a firm grasp of theatrical values in presenting flamenco.  With them will be Enrique de Melchor and Jeronimo with their guitars, the profound dancer Carmen Ledesma, and the palmeros-dancers Chicharito and Gregorio Parilla.  In addition, Joan Albert Amargos will direct a chamber orchestra in this first flamenco production in the Teatro Real.  Great expectation surrounds this event, where verses of Gongora, Ruiz de Alarcón, Lope de vega, San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luís de Leon, Calderón de la Barca, Santa Teresa, Quevedo, Rojas, Tirso de Molina, Guillén de Castro and others will become martinetes, soleareslivianas, rondenas, malaguenas, peteneras, tangos, nanas, tangos, sevillanas and bulerías.

In his illustrious career, Menese has interpreted flamenco in such prestigious venues as the Olimpia in Paris and the United Nations Auditorium in New York.  But for this artist from La Puebla de Cazalla, it is of great importance to sing flamenco in the Teatro Real of Madrid, above all while interpreting the great classical Spanish poets.  “It is a beautiful challenge, and a great responsibility.  But it is also a great honor.  I never hesitated to accept this chance to be part of a flamenco event that has such difficulty and such interest,” says the singer.

The die is cast.  Flamenco never ceases to find new expressive modes.  And on this occasion, through the rigor of orthodoxy, it will try to add to its inheritance the great lyric values of Spain’s classical poetry.

End of translation.

Ginesa Ortega is a fine singer, and probably used to experimental stuff.  But José Menese is the most rigidly orthodox/traditionalist/purist singer alive — it’s interesting to see that he had no trouble with this increasingly popular notion of adapting poet’s verses to flamenco, even if it means breaking the rigid melodic/syllabic structure as it must.  Old dog learns new trick! – olé, José.

Brook Zern

January 10, 2014   No Comments

17 Complete Programs from the Rito y Geografia del Cante Flamenco Series – Plus Today’s Most Important Radio Shows – Now At Your Fingertips.

by Brook Zern

I’ve been lucky to know and learn from two of the most knowledgeable authorities and most important figures in the fight to document great flamenco and disseminate crucial information about the art.

José María Velázquez-Gaztelu has for decades presented a great twice-a-week radio program on Spain’s national radio and television network, RTVE.  It can be heard on podcast recordings at http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/nuestro-flamenco/

But Señor Velázquez-Gaztelu had another trick up his sleeve.  Around 1970, he was the key man and on-camera figurehead in the creation of 100 magnificent black-and-white half-hour TV programs of Rito y Geografia del Cante Flamenco that ran weekly for two years.

(Before I met him, I’d spent fifteen years trying and failing to get permission to pay RTVE to protect the films and make a first copy for the Ethnomusicology Department at Columbia University ; it was finally granted in 1987, and for about a decade I apparently had a monopoly on the series.  Then a poorly done and poorly documented commercial cassette version of most shows was released by Alga in Spain; and then, happily, Señor Velázquez-Gaztelu created a gorgeously restored DVD version containing 72 of the shows, each 4-program disc also featuring his newly added commentary and recollections with available English subtitles, and each bound into striking small books giving invaluable information about every cut.)

Yes, all flamenco aficionados have seen some random, confusing moments of often brilliant b&w performances from these programs scattered all over YouTube.  But the true greatness of the series derives from the integrity of the total package, including the scripting, interviews, location selections and establishing scenes that make every program an artistic whole – as well as a window into a vanished Spain just feeling the first breezes from what would soon become a hurricane of cultural, sociopolitical and musical change.)

In recent years that I spent largely in the flamenco epicenter of Jerez, I soon realized that José María Castaño, author of the definitive book “De Jerez y Sus Cantes”, was the go-to guy for flamenco info and insight.  His radio program, Los Caminos del Cante, is a treasury of great talk and great music, and his article on Jerez’s crucial Gypsy/flamenco families is translated in this blog.  (He lets me sit in on some panel discussions; my finest contribution, with momentary lapses, has been keeping my mouth shut and listening to a half-dozen genuine experts argue with each other.  Arguing, or listening to heated, rapid-fire arguments in the region’s mystifying Andalusian dialect, is the true key to flamenco knowledge – or it would be, if I could just understand half of what was being shouted.)

This dynamic documentarian duo comes together, at least virtually, in an article  written by Castaño and translated from the Jerez progam website, www.loscaminosdelcante.com  – which also includes his incisive articles and editorials signed with the program name,  Here it is:

The Rito y Geografía del Cante series is online on the website of RTVE

There is no doubt that this series is the most important ever done for television.  It inherited the mantle of the great Archivo del Cante Flamenco 3-record set created by the noted Jerez writer José Manuel Caballero Bonald.

Soon after those field recordings were made featuring a select group of emblematic artists, the decision was made to go out again, this time with TV cameras, to reveal a truly exceptional artistic generation.  From the singers Antonio Mairena to Manolo Caracol, through Terremoto and Fernanda de Utrera and the guitarist Diego del Gastor, plus a huge list of other artists – all were filmed for national television.

Heading the project were two great professionals, Pedro Turbica and José María Velázquez-Gaztelu who covered a large part of Andalusia’s geography to document an array of spoken and sung testimonies that remain an unequalled primary source and reference point.

The RTVE website has decided to let everyone enjoy every episode of the series, restored to an extraordinary audio and visual level of excellence.  It can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

http://www.rtve.es/television/rito-geografia-cante/

End of article

(Hey, looky the one guitarist named above from a cast that included every major player in Spain — the one we gringos are often unfairly accused of worshipping unduly.  Yes, it’s Diegod el Gastor.)

Again, while the article doesn’t spell it out, there are just 17 of the complete shows on the RTVE website — though they’re among the best.  The artists, in alphabetical order:  Camaron (accompanied by Paco Cepero, not the other Paco), Manolo Caracol (2 shows), Fosforito, Diego del Gastor, Juan el Lebrijano, Paco de Lucia, Antonio Mairena, Jose Menese, Enrique Morente, La Paquera, La Perla de Cadiz, Siguiriyas (2 shows), and Triana.  (An additional show made quite recently features Velázquez-Gaztelu talking about the series with the very knowledgeable José Manuel Gamboa.)

What?  Free is good, but you want more for your money?  Well, if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks per show, you’re in luck.  The excellent commercial version done by Señor Velázquez in 2005 initially had four beautiful slipcases each containing four books-with-DVD’s, each in turn containing four shows — 16 volumes containing 4 shows each equals, um, 64 shows, but two more DVD’s were issued recently — Volumes 17 and 18.  Those 8 additional programs mean a total of 72 of the 100 shows are out there somewhere (just google the series, and you’ll stumble on all of them loose or in groups.  (Hey, if I’ve got unrestored copies of all 100 shows, does that mean I still have a monopoly on the remaining 28 shows?)

Brook Zern

December 29, 2013   1 Comment